You don’t have a blog yet? What’s that? You don’t even really get what a blog is? You don’t know what you’re missing.
As Seth Godin says, “The word blog is irrelevant. What’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person(and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.”
What do you care about in the world? No matter how narrow the niche, there is an audience who will be interested in what you have to say. There are blogs out there about a guy who crochets (The Crochet Dude), reading programs for the incarcerated (Prison Book Program Blog) and on everything related to perfume (Now Smell This).
Think about what you know best and then think about your particular point of view on that topic. For instance, Kim Gay of Match Healthcare Consulting knows nursing homes like nobody’s business. Her specific point of view on nursing homes is that everything from profitability to patient advocacy depends on building relationships. Her company provides leadership development and change management for healthcare, and I bet she’d find plenty of interested readers for a blog on the importance of relationships in her industry.
No matter who I’m with lately, I start thinking about what their blog would be. For instance, I had lunch the other day with Chris Wauton of Narrative Planning. Chris is an Oxford-educated account planner known as a leader in his discipline. He’s worked with some of the ad industry’s best agencies and has provided the strategic thinking that led to many well-known campaigns. Over our Persian kabobs and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, he started telling me about his approach to understanding consumers — based on methods he’s gleaned from crime investigators. Chris has always been able to spin a good yarn, so he entertained me with a handful of stories and insights related to his unusual approach, any one of which would make a fascinating post.
Starting a blog would be a good business move for both Kim and Chris. It would provide an opportunity to showcase their expertise in their industries, as well as a starting point for conversations and connections with interested (and interesting) people all over the world.
But another benefit of writing a blog is that it keeps your mind nimble and active. The exercise of writing a short piece every day or week (or however frequently you post) provides a nice warm-up for your brain, sort of like doing a crossword puzzle over your morning coffee.
Once you begin posting with some frequency, you’ll find that you have an endless stream of ideas for more posts. Everything you read, everyone you meet, every trend you notice in your industry –or in the world around you — is fodder for your blog. Writing your posts encourages you to voice an opinion, and to put it in writing. It offers the opportunity to hear how your thinking was helpful to others, or to debate your position and possibly have your mind opened to the way someone else out there thinks.
The most important benefit of writing a blog is that offers a way to be more engaged in the world. A reason to think. A chance to connect. And, as Godin mentions, to express your unique perspective on what you “care about with the world.”